Two UAE startups qualify for second cohort of ‘Google for Startups Accelerator: Mena’ Filed on July 14, 2021

Google'S accelerator programme will run virtually starting this week till the end of September. — Reuters

Salim Abid, Google’s regional lead of developer ecosystem in Mena.

Moussa Azar, co-founder, Bankiom and Danny Abla, founder, and CEO at Bankiom.

Eslam Hussein, co-founder, and CEO, invygo.

Bankiom and Invygo win three-month digital accelerator programme for Seed to Series A technology startups based in the region.

Google announced the list of startups for the second cohort of ‘Google for Startups Accelerator Middle East and North Africa’, a three-month digital accelerator programme for seed to Series A technology startups based in the region.

The twelve technology startups come from six Arab countries across automotive, agriculture, fitness, fintech, real-estate, e-commerce, and entertainment.

Salim Abid, Google’s regional lead of developer ecosystem in Mena, said: “We’re very excited to welcome twelve enthusiastic tech startups from the Mena region into the second edition of our 'Google for Startups Accelerator' program. Together in the next three months, we aim to equip the participating startups and their teams with digital tools and connect them with experts and mentors from within Google and the wider ecosystem to help solve their business challenges and scale successfully."

The startups were selected based on criteria like the problem they are trying to solve and how it creates value for users, in addition to their willingness to use Machine Learning technology to solve business challenges and successfully scale in the long run. The accelerator programme will run virtually starting this week till the end of September. Selected startups will receive mentorship in Machine Learning, Cloud, digital marketing, product design / UX, customer acquisition, and leadership development, and will be connected with VCs. Additionally, Google will offer workshops on ‘Design Thinking’ to all startups that have applied for the second cohort.

Moussa Azar, co-founder, Bankiom, said: “Our startup journey allowed us to become a resilient team to take on a big mission which is building the bank of the future. An AI-powered digital bank that can pave the way for our customers to get to their financial goals.”

Bankiom is a super-banking app that allows customers in the GCC to open an account and get a spending card on their phones in three minutes or less.

Danny Abla, founder, and CEO at Bankiom said: “We are super excited! It’s really intense. Having access to the best minds in AI, Machine Learning, Growth, Product Design, etc… is kinda overwhelming but so powerful. We are coming in with an attitude to ask as many questions as possible to benefit from our access to this huge bank of ideas called Google.”

invygo — which qualified to the cohort — is the first car as a service platform across the emerging markets enabling car shoppers to get an all-inclusive monthly car subscription that comes with insurance, maintenance, and more in a seamless app-based experience in the hopes of making mobility accessible to all.

Eslam Hussein, co-founder, and CEO, invygo, said: “We feel very honoured to be have qualified for Google's second cohort. The startup community in the UAE is booming and full of new ideas and great potential - so qualifying in such a competitive area is very exciting. We're also taking it to mean that we are on the right path, and with the support of an esteemed company like Google and the guidance they provide during these sessions, the only way to go is up.”

Here are the technology startups that have been selected for the second cohort - five of which are women-led businesses:

· Bankiom (UAE): A super-banking app that allows customers in the GCC to open an account and get a spending card on their phones in 3 minutes or less.

· Invygo (UAE): An app-based car subscription service that provides customers access to dealership verified cars.

· OTO (Saudi Arabia): OTO is the shipping software that helps online businesses to ship, track and return their e-commerce orders with the best shipping carriers from a 1 single dashboard.

· Sabbar (Saudi Arabia): A B2B on-demand staffing platform that connects businesses with vetted & qualified individual workers in the retail, hospitality, and entertainment industries. [ Female co-founded business]

· Ejaro (Saudi Arabia): The first licensed peer-to-peer vehicle sharing platform in the GCC, connecting local vehicle owners with individuals who are looking to rent vehicles.

· ElCoach (Egypt): A fitness app that offers hyper-personalized fitness & nutrition plans based on each individual needs & goals, and fueled by the best-in-class AI model & the expertise and knowledge of leading fitness and nutrition experts in the MENA region.

· FreshSource (Egypt): A B2B fresh food-supply platform transforming the lives of producers, businesses, and consumers through the use of data and technology promoting fairness, transparency, and farmer empowerment. [ Female co-founded business]

· Hekouky (Egypt): An online legal-tech platform that digitizes and simplifies the user’s experience with the law and legal services. [ women-led business]

· Zammit (Egypt): An e-commerce website builder that helps merchants build websites without any prior technical knowledge with access to local shipping and payment enablers.

· Mawsuah (Jordan): An online Arabic content rewarding platform for expert communities using Blockchain technology. [ Female co-founded business]

· MyTindy (Morocco): A marketplace that introduces everyone to Morocco’s local products designed by talented craftspeople. [ Female co-founded business]

· SINC (Bahrain): A user-friendly mobile platform for staff to share real-time data on-site, which bridges the gap between the worksite and the office environments.



Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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